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On the Block

For sale: Updated homes that retain some charming vintage elements

These homes in Melrose and Quincy include some interesting features.

The exterior of 131 Florence Street, Melrose.Whitney Sullivan




LOT SIZE 0.14 acre

BEDROOMS 4 BATHS 1 full, 1 half

LAST SOLD FOR $590,000 in 2019

PROS This 1940 Colonial sits on a quiet side street between Melrose Center and the Middlesex Fells Reservation. Enter through an enclosed sun porch into a living room with a gas fireplace and (as in most of the home) hardwood floors. Through a dining room with built-in china cabinet, the kitchen features stainless appliances and older but functional cottage-style cabinets. A new mudroom leads out to a flat, fenced backyard, brick patio, and one-car garage. Two first-floor bedrooms flank a bath that’s been updated but for the midcentury mint-green tile. Upstairs, find two more bedrooms and a family room or office, plus attic storage. The basement, with laundry and a half bath, could be finished for more space. CONS No upstairs bath.


The living room of 131 Florence Street, Melrose.Whitney Sullivan

Anne Mahon, Leading Edge, 617-990-7660, AnneMahon.com



The exterior of 81 Albatross Road, Quincy.Jack Vatcher


LOT SIZE 0.11 acre

BEDROOMS 3 BATHS 2 full, 1 half

LAST SOLD FOR $160,000 in 1998

PROS Sited a block from the ocean but outside the 100-year floodplain, this 1935 Cape with cedar shingles and hardwood floors was completely renovated and rebuilt to meet hurricane codes in 2008. An entry vestibule with sidelights opens to a living room with fireplace. At right, find a sitting room and office. The kitchen features stainless appliances, mahogany floor inlays, and retro teal cabinets. Solarium windows with dramatic wood arches highlight the dining area, with access to the deck and yard. A bedroom and bath complete the first floor; two second-floor bedrooms share a luxurious bath with skylight. There’s a bonus room up top, and the basement holds a den with gas stove, powder room, and laundry. CONS No garage; some haze in kitchen windows.


The dining area of 81 Albatross Road, Quincy.Jack Vatcher

Erin Feeney, William Raveis RE, 617-905-4499, erinfeeney.com

Jon Gorey is a regular contributor to the Globe Magazine. Send comments to magazine@globe.com.